Local Student’s Doodle Was a Finalist In Doodle For Google contest

artist with Google doodle
Photo courtesy Haley Ma

Haley Ma, a senior at South Grand Prairie High School, is among elite company. Her doodle, entitled “Homemade Happiness” was among the 55 finalists across the United States and its territories for a placement on Google’s home page in the Doodle For Google contest.

While Haley’s design was not the one selected, it certainly garnered national attention. And for an aspiring young artist still in her teens, that’s not bad.

Haley found out about the contest through one of her teachers at a meeting of her national art honor society club. The theme was “I am grateful for…”

“I instantly thought of food and my family, more specifically the process of cooking traditional meals with one another,” Haley said. “Coming from a Vietnamese and Lao household, I brainstormed a bunch of my favorite dishes like Thịt Kho and Nam Khao, but ultimately settled on Lao lotus flower cookies due to its cooking process correlating with my ideas for each letter of Google – and also because I have a bit of a sweet tooth!

“For the name, I came up with that on a whim, like it just popped up while I was drawing my piece.”

Haley started teaching herself art in elementary school and continued to do until her junior year of high school when she started taking more advanced art classes. She also started entering her artwork in competitions.

“At this moment, I mostly focus on digital art and traditional art with colored pencils,” she said. “I knew I loved drawing ever since I was young. I remember drawing everywhere all the time as a toddler, even drawing on walls when I ran out of paper which probably made my parents realize I had a knack for art.”

Haley comes from an artistic family.

“I would say that each of my family members has dabbled in art in their own way, my dad with painting when he was in high school, my mom with her garden, and my sisters with drawing and painting as well,” she said, adding with a laugh, “But I would also say that out of my family, I’m more known as the artistic one.”

Some of her major art projects include pieces for the competition VASE, or Visual Arts

Scholastic Event last year and this year. But she says Doodle for Google has been her biggest art project yet.

Haley began her journey in the art studio at SGP as a drawing student and this year completed an independent art portfolio for college credit in the advanced AP Drawing class.

Her artwork has earned the school and district great distinction. At the 2022 VASE competition, a UIL event with over 31,000 students, she earned a gold medal at regional competition and advanced to the state meet in San Marcos. She was also the second runner-up in the region’s 2022 Congressional Art Competition.

In addition, she was one of only four SGP students selected to be honored in the 2022 Artist in Bloom Exhibit, a district exhibit that features artistically significant artwork from campuses and classrooms. She has also participated in several art competitions through the BETA club at school.

“Haley is a student I can always depend on to model curiosity, effort, creativity and quality in her work. Due to her dedication and willingness to learn, she has continuously developed and improved her art technique to yield excellent art skills,” SGP Art Instructor Sandra Morante said.

“Her art process has demonstrated aspects of imaginative exploration, media experimentation, problem solving and self-reflection. During her time in the art studio, Haley has frequently demonstrated leadership skills, evident through her daily work ethic and in quality of her finished artworks. She is willing to invest in creative risk, in order to learn and discover, demonstrating a capacity for problem solving- a quality that makes her stand out from other students and will enable her to succeed in whatever field she chooses to ultimately pursue.”

Beyond her artistic achievement, Haley has participated in several school organizations such as National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, and Beta to name a few. She also graduated as Early College Salutatorian.

“It has been a privilege for me to witness Haley’s artistic growth and ability to express herself through art,” Morante continued. “I am so proud of her! I know Haley will go on to do excellent in college and I hope that the lessons learned in the art studio will serve her academically and beyond.”

Haley plans to the attend the University of Texas in Austin and major in computer science under the ATP program. She is considering a minor in art, but whatever the future holds, it will definitely contain art in some form, she said.

“I definitely would love to include art in my career! I’ve learned I’m more passionate about art when I go at my own pace so I would love to still keep art on the side and then hopefully as a main career when I’m older,” she said. ”

“I would like to thank everyone for their support of my piece, it means so much and I still can’t believe my art made it this far!”


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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters